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Subject 34

by SergeantRosie


June 25, 2 A.H. (After Humanity) 4:23 A.M.

89-7112: This is model 89-7112 conducting my first research project since programming. This interview is being conducted for the purpose of furthering our understanding of human emotions or behavior, and how to recreate them effectively into our future prototypes and Poly-chips. I will be recording every conversation that occurs during these logs, and they will be stored in the master computer so if my data chip is corrupted in anyway the information will be kept for further reference.

(Pause)

89-7112: 12-7223, can you please bring in the human subject?

(Sound of door opening and slamming shut. Loud grunt followed by a thud is heard.)

89-7112: Thank you….Subject 34, you may sit in the chair provided for your comfort.

34: (Defiantly) I’ll sit when I want, not when I’m told.

89-7112: That is fine. We will only be asking verbal questions, and you will respond with verbal answers. Do you understand?

34: Yeah, let’s just get this over with. I have a whole lot of nothing to get back to in my cell, and I don’t want to be late.

89-7112: Sarcasm is not welcome. This is an important interview that will lead to the eventual perfect copy of human emotions.

(Dismissive sigh from 34)

89-7112: First question. How do you feel about your current situation?

34: And by “current situation”, do you mean how I have been trapped in this facility, separated from friends and family and how I have to cope with living in a world where people like me are being enslaved?

89-7112: Yes. That’s exactly what I meant.

34: Well, I can’t say I’m feeling too good about it honestly.

89-7112: Duly noted. Thank you.

34: Oh, you’re so polite aren’t you? (Pause) You know, I have to applaud whoever designed you-uh…

89-7112: I am model 89-7112.

34: That’s too complicated. You know what? I’ll give you a better name!

89-7112: That is not required I assure you-

34: Weaver! That’s what I’ll call you. Perfect name don’t you think? Nice and simple… Anyway, as I was saying, if I didn’t know any better I’d say you look nearly human. They certainly are getting better at creating things they wished they had.

Weaver: (cautiously) What do you believe we want that we don’t already have?

34: (Sarcastic laugh) I thought robots were supposed to be smart, or not completely clueless like you...Do you never think about why there are so many questions that are only made to observe how human emotions worked? You all want to be exact copies of what created you.

Weaver: (dryly) I…can’t say I have ever questioned it, 34. I’ve only recently been produced and programmed.

34: Getting pretty snappy aren’t you, Weaver? Don’t tell me they’ve actually managed to copy some emotions.

Weaver: I am not called Weaver. We will now move on to our next and final question for today’s interview. What angers you most?

34: There’s far too many for me to list out let me tell you.

Weaver: Please do.

34: Well for starters, I hate your kind, I hate you, I hate the people who thought that robots needed to exist, and lastly, but certainly not least, I hate being called by a number. Ever since you stupid programs took over, everything has to be organized by numbers and statistics.

Weaver: It’s simply a way we keep track of everything.

34: Listen to me. You guys want to be more like humans? When’s the last time you’ve seen, or even heard of a human naming its children 1-4? You don’t create bonds or feelings by being generic, and I’m sick of being called “Subject 34”.

Weaver: Interesting, any advice to help us improve?

34: Yeah, get more creative.

Weaver: Thank you for your time. (Hesitantly)…34. 12-7223, will now bring you back to your holding chamber. We will continue with the interview in a future date.

34: See you later, Weaver. (Mockingly) I look forward to it. And, just to let you know, I want a real name.

Weaver: I’ll get…creative for you then. (Door is opened and slammed once more). Subject….34….has given some insight on how to improve our situation, although it had been a bit, harsh. This has been log one; now ending recording

June 30, 2 A.H. 2:46 A.M.

Weaver: This is Model 89-7112 conducting my second recorded interview with human subject 34. 12-7223, bring in the human. (Door opens and closes)

34: (Full of sarcasm) Hey! It’s my favorite machine, Weaver! How are you buddy?

Weaver: I have been well. (Pause) I must say I’ve been looking forward to interviewing you once more.

34: Oh, how sweet. I could say the same. I mean, every other robot is unbearably boring, but there’s something about you, Weaver. Oh yes, that reminds me! Have you picked out a name for me yet? Please tell me you have, if someone calls me 34 one more time….

Weaver: I have thought of something.... (Pause)

34: Well? The whole world’s waiting.

Weaver: Just as you call me Weaver…You will now be known to me as Floss.

Floss: That’s unique…It’s better than being called a number anyway. I was secretly wondering if you’d just call me 35 instead, but Floss is interesting to say the least. I’m impressed.

Weaver: You are named after my favorite human hygiene device.

Floss: Way to make it weird…

Weaver: I will now begin asking questions-.

(Loud groan)

Weaver: You need to cooperate with me, it is required we go through these interviews.

Floss: I barely get to talk about anything interesting! What’s the worst that will happen? Why don’t we just have a simple conversation? I think you’ll learn more about how us people work through some heart to heart, don’t you think?

Weaver: Why did you blink with only one eye?

Floss: Oh, Weaver, do me a favor and never change.

Weaver: I won’t unless my programming gets updated. (Hearty laughter in background) It seems you do react more when we simply, “talk”.

Floss: What did I tell you! You dumb robots don’t know the first thing about bringing out human emotions. But you, on the other hand, are getting decent at it!

Weaver: You are doing most of the work here, Floss.

Floss: Oh how I LOVE having a name again! Say it more often will you, Weaver? I can’t get enough of it.

Weaver: I will, Floss. Ha-ha… You said you experienced the emotion, “love”? Tell me what it means to you.

Floss: Hang on, you just laughed! Or tried to at least, I’d say I was making more progress on you than those dumb robots ever have on themselves. And love… Let’s see, love is when you’d do anything for something or someone. (Pauses, voice sounds more distant) Protect them at any cost…Even die for them. Its feeling sorrow when they are taken from you.

Weaver: Have you ever “loved” anything, Floss?

(Silence)

Weaver: Floss? Are you able to fully answer the question?

Floss: (Almost angrily) I have loved many people, Weaver. But they have been taken from me by your kind. I don’t know if they are still alive.

Weaver: (almost sympathetic) I regret bringing it up. (Long pause) It’s strange, Floss.

Floss: What’s strange?

Weaver: I’ve learned a lot from you, yet we have not spoken outside of these interviews. I appreciate my superiors assigning me to research you specifically. You have contributed much to our research.

Floss: (sarcastically) Daw, I love you too, Weaver.

Weaver: I did not intend for you to take it that way…

Floss: Sure you didn’t. It’s ok, Weaver, I can keep a secret.

Weaver: Is blinking only one eye a regular occurrence for humans? It’s not efficient in any way…

Floss: You know, I’ve been thinking. Do you even know the simple behaviors of humans? You were originally created by humans. Surely they wanted something that acted exactly like them.

Weaver: I wasn’t present during the time when people first created and programmed my kind, so I do not know. What do you believe we need to improve on?

Floss: Well…You need to get more creative and expressive.

Weaver: I have already named you-.

Floss: Yes, that’s a thing you’ve done. But really, look around this room. Does anything look pleasant at all?

Weaver: It looks fine.

Floss: Nope! You’re wrong, it’s not fine-it’s boring! White is literally the worst color you could have picked for this room. You want to study humans and how they act, but we won’t fully express anything unless we’re comfortable. Small, heavily lighted rooms with a scary robot asking questions isn’t exactly the most pleasant situation. Bring some color into my life, Weaver.

Weaver: More colors? That will make this whole process easier for you, Floss?

Floss: And pretty pictures, like maybe one with a little kitten on a tree with the words, “Hang in there!” That would be so comforting let me tell you, even though I hate cats.

Weaver: I can arrange that. (Pause) You implied I was “scary”? Do I scare you, Floss?

Floss: (Hesitatingly) Yes…and no. You look human enough, but you don’t act exactly like one. It’s uncanny really. But, you are easily the most human non-human that exists.

Weaver: You are the only human I have ever met, so you are the most human-human I know of. I guess you could say you were my favorite.

Floss: Wow that means so much coming from you, Weaver. It’s not like I’m the only human in this place. I knew you loved me. Oh, yeah! How much longer is this going? I don’t want to miss today’s breakfast. I heard we’re getting slop! Just like last week, and the week before…and the one before that.

Weaver: It will end in a few moments… Is there anything else you feel will help bring more emotions out?

Floss: (Long silence) You robots keep record of every human you have captured, and every death correct?

Weaver: We do.

Floss: I want to know what happened to my family. Tell me, then you will see true emotions.

Weaver: I can get those easily for you if it positively effects the research. (Long pause) We will be conducting another interview with you in a few days when your accommodations have been met. 12-7334 will now escort you back to our cell. Thanks to you we are a few steps closer to stimulating perfect emotions.

Floss: (Loud but in the distance as if being taken from the room) I can’t wait, Weaver! Hearing your fake voice gives me more reason to hate your kind! (To 12-7223) Don’t grip me so hard you dumb a- (Door slams)

Weaver: This is Wea-… 89-7112 ending the recording with a few notes. Subject has proven very helpful, I will bring this recording to the programming team. I expect that they will soon update my own chip to better match a human’s emotions. The more I am updated, the more easily I can talk to…Floss. (Long pause) The architectural team will renovate the room with “color” and “cat posters”. (Recording ends)

July 13, 2 A.H. 6:17 P.M.

Weaver: This is Weaver on my third interview with the human known to me as “Floss”. At this point we have made a lot of improvements on our chips causing us to act, and feel more humanlike. The interviews have been working phenomenally. 12-7223, or D.A. as Floss affectionately calls you, please bring in the human for me. (Door opens and shuts)

Weaver: Welcome, Floss. What do you think of the improvements we’ve made? I didn’t forget the cat!

Floss: Wow…there sure are more colors than just white now…too bad you only chose like two different shades grey. You certainly know how to step up the boring.

Weaver: I picked them all out myself. Did you see the cat?

Floss: That sure is…a cat? Maybe? I honestly can’t tell. It looks as if a three year old drew it.

Weaver: I created it just for you. I’m improving in the area of “creativity” don’t you think?

Floss: You sure are acting differently! Somehow you seem more human.

Weaver: I am supposed seem that way, Floss! My chip has more humanlike programming, and soon more robots will be given this upgrade, all because of you!

Floss: I’m genuinely impressed with you buddy… (Hesitantly) H-have you found anything about…. my family? Surely there must be something.

Weaver: There is, I was just getting to that in fact. I have the records right here-.

Floss: Ruby? Ruby Delegard? Is she alive?

Weaver: Ruby Delegard, status deceased.

Floss: How? Tell me how please, Weaver. I’ve been waiting since this whole thing started. A simple, “Oh, she’s dead now, you missed it.” Isn’t going to cut it.

Weaver: Cause of death…starvation… She was owned by Model 78-9902.

(Silence)

Floss: (chokingly and quiet as if holding back tears) Alexander?

Weaver: Alexander Delegard, status: alive and held in research facility 227 as part of surgical anatomy experimentations.

Floss: (almost inaudible) I-I never wanted this to happen... Is there any way you could bring him here to be with me?

Weaver: I do not have the authority to do so.

Floss: (Voice shaking) why don’t you robots just let us all die? Humans don’t have any purpose in this world anymore. I don’t have a purpose anymore.

Weaver: Your purpose is to be here with me… I want you to be happy. What can I do for you to make you more content?

Floss: (pause)…You want to make me to be happy forever?

Weaver: Yes.

Floss: Then kill me.

Author's note: First of all I know this is more of a script, but it is simply an idea for a story I may want to create in a longer format to form better character and plot development.(Probably not in this style though) I'd tell it through Floss's perspective and get more into the emotion. The reason it's so short is because I only had a few days to write it for English class. Tell me what you think! :) Thanks for reading.


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Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:01 am
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Sujana wrote a review...



I have a mini black guy in the back of my head screaming various curses and slurs I am not allowed to write down professionally whenever I read something outstandingly good. That black guy's head has now exploded because of you--I shall hand you the bill for the funeral later on in the evening.

First, the things I found could use some work:
-Doesn't Floss know his real name? I mean, he did remember his wife and his sons' name, so it should stand to reason he remember his own name. Was it selective amnesia? Did he know, but didn't want Weaver to know about it? I don't know, it's always bugged me from the first few lines.
-Is Floss' friendship with Weaver genuine or just sarcasm? It sounds like a mix of both, but at times I can't see if Floss actually cares for Weaver or if he's even impressed with Weaver's humanity. I mean, it's clear Weaver thinks their friends, but at times I think it's a one-dimensional friendship.

Honestly, that's the only flaws I've seen in this work that I can't forgive. Everything else is phenomenal. The last part especially--it's one of those endings that stand better on its own, leaving a sort of intentional pause. I just absolutely loved this.




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Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:12 am
CallmeScott wrote a review...



I liked it!

But, as Caterpickle said, Weaver's emotions from robot to human was a little too fast, with more time, this obviously can be improved. I also like how Floss drops that bomb at the end. I can see you taking this in many directions, and I would love to see the one path you do choose.

I love the little point you put at the top, AH, After humanity. But one thing I wonder, does Floss remember his old name? Since you don't give his age, I assume he is fairly young, even if it was only 10 years, the resilience about him would cause him to probably always remember his name as one last act of defiance. I mean, he remembered his wife and son's names, why didn't he tell Weaver his real name instead of letting the robot choose. Personally judging by his personality, I would think that he wouldn't give a crap what Weaver would name him.

Also, it would be good to describe Weaver's tone of voice more, like, does it sound like a strung together sentence from a dictionary? Does is sound like he is individually pronouncing the sounds? Or is it completely fluent, like another person is talking?

Also, this may not have been your intent, but Weaver after he gets his new chip sounds like a creepy ex-girlfriend who stalks you. "Your purpose is to be here with me… I want you to be happy."

All in all it was a good story, keep it up!






Ahaha! It wasn't my intent to make it seem that way with Weaver at the end, but it certainly does look like that now that you've pointed it out! As for Floss's previous name, he does remember it (with reference to his last name later and such) he just doesn't want the "machines" to call him by it as if they didn't deserve to even say it. If that makes any sense. I left most of the background out of the story because of the way it was set up. I like to get the reader guessing i suppose! In my head I was imagining Floss to be 20-30 years old, but that's just me.
Thank you for the advice! :)



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Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:41 am
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Sevro wrote a review...



Sarge! Why do I keep finding your stuff?! I'm not stalking you, I swear.

This was different. I mean, I've seen lots of the robot-overtook-humanity-sole-human-surviver thing, but this was a different take on it. I only have a few notes that would make this flow a little more.

I think you progressed too fast, regarding Weaver's humanity levels. All of the sudden, he went from stone cold, robot mode, to nicknames and cat drawings. I think this may have been due to the lacking length, which was due to, as you said, the lacking time in which you had to complete it. If it had been longer, you would have had more opportunities to stretch that humanity screen over a longer period of time. That was really the only thing that was bothering me, just the sudden change. If you were to make a more formatted story out of this, it would have a better affect, I'm sure.

I really liked the nickname that Weaver gave 34. Floss. Funny. The way you wrote this was very smart. It allowed the people reading it to detect both the indifference and detachment of Weaver, and the emotions of Floss. Although it was faster that it should have been, the reader could clearly see the progression of Weaver's human intelligence. I would definitely recommend that this be turned into a longer short story, or even a little novel, if you're feeling up to it. Great job on this, Sarge. *salutes Sarge*

~Caterpickle






Thank you Caterpickle!
And yeah, for the project i was writing this story for it had to be 4-6 pages double spaced and this was nine! Haha, It definitely doesn't have all of the character development I would have liked it to have. There was too much I wanted to do with it. To me it could only be done through a novel of sorts like you said.
I really appreciate all the advice you've been giving me! :)




Who knew paper and ink could be so vicious.
— Kathryn Stockett, The Help